Real People Who Inspired Movie Crazies

Christian Bale looked to Cruise to inspire 'American Psycho'
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2011 6:18 PM CDT
Movie Characters Inspired By Real-Life People
In this handout photo provided by NBC, actor Tom Cruise (L) stands on the couch during an interview on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' June 8, 2005 in Burbank, California.   (Getty Images)

Some things are too good to be true, but that's not the case for these fictional movie characters: BuzzFeed has a list of 10 popular movie icons that you'd never believe were inspired by actual people. A sample:

  • Big Lebowski's The Dude: Producer and political activist Jeff Dowd was the archetype for the Coen brothers' interpretation. The Jeffs share their love for White Russians.

  • American Psycho's Patrick Bateman: Christian Bale took a cue from Tom Cruise to form his mentally unstable character, but this less-than-flattering comparison isn't a coincidence—even the author had Cruise in mind while writing the book.
  • Psycho's Norman Bates, Hannibal series' Buffalo Bill, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface: This nasty host of antagonists all drew inspiration from one real-life serial killer: Ed Gein. Gein had nine masks of human skin, a lampshade made from a human face, and a belt made of female nipples in his home.
  • Shrek: Not really a crazy, but the animated ogre was influenced by a real-life French wrestler who suffered from a disease called acromegaly. The pictures don't lie…
Check out the rest of the list on BuzzFeed. (More Shrek stories.)

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